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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

How does a pour-over will work with a living trust?

Many individuals and families across Tennessee who timely consult with proven estate planners quickly perceive the strong and diverse value that a revocable living trust can provide for them.

We prominently note on a relevant page of our website at the established Brentwood law firm of Cook Tillman Law Group that living trusts are often “a fantastic option” for estate planners. That is especially true for people concerned with both current planning realities and dispositions to heirs at a later date. These are just some of many trust-linked benefits:

  1. Planner’s continued control over assets during his or her lifetime

  2. Planner’s autonomy over trust matters if incapacity occurs

  3. Cost savings resulting from the ability of a trust to bypass probate

  4. Privacy – trusts are not public-record matters

Planners sometimes reasonably pose these questions concerning living trusts and their personal assets: What if I forget to specifically identify and include select assets in a trust or accumulate additional property following trust creation? Are such assets excluded from the trust and destined for distribution via probate, with results I never intended?

That certainly needn’t be the case, especially for planners who execute what is termed a “pour-over” will. That instrument is designed to work specifically with a living trust. Its purpose is to guarantee that the assets that weren’t included in the trust will be transferred to the trust upon the death of the planner.

In other words, a pour-over will can ensure that assets not initially enumerated and placed in trust will ultimately be transferred to the trust and distributed to beneficiaries as intended.

A proven estate planning team can provide further information concerning this subject matter, as well as regarding all other aspects of estate administration.


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